Morning! I’ve been posting a lot in the afternoons/evenings recently, and I forgot how nice it feels to post in the morning. I have a new recipe to share today; my mom and sister came over last night so I made dinner for everyone. You can thank my friend (and NMA-reader since day 1) Pete for reminding me that I have “sold out” because I haven’t posted many recipes recently, and he has a good point. Not only do recipes make good blog posts, they also help convince people that vegetarian — or in this case, vegan — food doesn’t suck!
But first, three things:
- I wrote a new Running Shorts piece with my thoughts on people relying on GPS devices for running; read it so I get PAID!
- When I announced that all my per-pageview ad revenue this year will be donated to the Humane Society, Katie from Life Discombobulated asked me to remind people of that fact in my posts, so that those who read in Google Reader would remember to actually view the page a few times. Here you go, Katie.
- Congratulations to my blogger-friends Caitlin and Rachel for running each of their first marathons at Disney World on Sunday! Caitlin’s awesome mantra: Pain is temporary, quitting is forever. Will 2010 be the year you run your first marathon?
Tuscan White Beans and Broccoli Rabe
Of all the types of cooking I’ve played around with, my favorite by far is SIMPLE Italian. To me, there is something sublimely alchemistical (a word, I checked) about turning a few plain ingredients into something warm and comforting. Not to mention fast! This recipe definitely fits the bill. Broccoli rabe is the star, a bitter cousin of broccoli that so few people ever cook with. In my grocery store, it’s sold in bunches near the kale, mustard greens, etc. To use it, you just need to remove the thickest bottoms of the stems; the rest of the leaves and stems go into the pot. The broccoli rabe accents white beans, a staple of simple Italian food that turns the meal into a main dish for vegetarians by adding some substance and a decent helping of that protein thing.
The recipe, from 1,000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson (Wiley & Sons), is for just the white beans and broccoli rabe. To serve it with pasta, I cooked a pound of whole wheat spaghetti and added the cooked spaghetti and about a half-cup of the pasta cooking water to the cooked (coarsely-mashed) beans and broccoli rabe, and tossed everything to coat the pasta. I served it with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice and some fresh ground pepper and it was “simply” perfect!
Here’s the recipe, exactly as it appears in the book:
Ingredients (for 4 servings):
- 1 medium bunch broccoli rabe (rapini), tough stems removed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cups cooked or 2 (15.5-ounce) cans cannellini beans or other white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. In a saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the broccoli rabe until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and run under cold water, then coarsely chop. Set aside.
2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the beans and the rosemary, then add the cooked broccoli rabe and season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Cook, stirring, until the flavors are well blended and the mixture is hot, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
Before I made this meal, I was envisioning more whole, wilted leaves and large pieces of broccoli rabe with the white beans, but the greens broke down enough that it formed a pesto-like sauce. If you want it the other way, you could probably cook the broccoli rabe a little less at the beginning.
I, by nature, am tricky, and I was careful not to say “randomly” in describing how I would select the winner of the Nuun prize pack. I decided to choose the winner based on the comment that I found most interesting, and that winner is Naveen! Naveen asked about the differences between Nuun, coconut water, and Vega Sport, and I had never really thought about comparing the three.
Congrats Naveen, send me your info and I’ll mail out your Nuun stuff! Thanks to everyone who entered the contest; look for a REALLY GOOD one coming soon.